WP data leak saga, part 27: Yahoo’s ‘buggy’ IMAP implementation impacts other phones too

Rafael throws some more wood on the fire by publishing the results of some testing he did of Yahoo’s IMAP implementation against the iPhone. And according to him, Yahoo is sending too much data to iPhones too:

Yahoo’s statement [was that] “Yahoo! Mail is widely available on tens of millions of mobile phones, including those running on Apple iOS, Android, Nokia Symbian, and RIM. The issue on the Windows Phones is specific to how Microsoft chose to implement IMAP for Yahoo! Mail and does not impact Yahoo! Mail on these other mobile devices.”

Does not impact other devices? REALLY now? Help me here, Yahoo. Perhaps I’m not using the same server you are.

[Dumps of IMAP traffic ensue.]

So much for being a Windows Phone specific problem. Note that we have extra fields in our reply.

Trying to read this stuff is like reading the Bible in its original language, but let’s just say that Rafael’s contention is that Yahoo is spitting out too much info … regardless of the device on the other end.

Let the debate rage.  I think I just detected another six weeks of (nuclear) winter. :)

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14 Responses to WP data leak saga, part 27: Yahoo’s ‘buggy’ IMAP implementation impacts other phones too

  1. Bill says:

    There is a solution which I use and it works great….don’t use Yahoo! Mail.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Right. That’s my solution too. The (other) problem for WP users is that WP does not support Yahoo contacts or calendar. So it’s not a complete solution on the phone, as is Gmail, Exchange, and Windows Live/Hotmail.

  2. wgimenes says:

    Ha Ha.

    Yahoo should learn to pick their battles.

    They are no match for the mighty Rafael!!!

    Paul, time you unleash the “Wrong again, monkey boy” comment on Yahoo.


    • Paul Thurrott says:

      I’d wait for Yahoo’s response before breaking out the champagne. I’d like to see more results from Android, Pre, etc. as well.

      But I’m not sure what I’m wrong about. I wrote that Yahoo was certainly part of the problem. But Microsoft is too. That’s not changing because of this. It’s still the case.

  3. gnalneb says:

    You know…this makes alot of sense to me. My wife has an iPhone and a Yahoo email account, and when we were evaluating whether to reduce our data plan when AT&T swicthed to it tiered system we opted to stick with the larger plan because she (unexplicably) had a vastly greater data usage than I did…

    I guess we have a culprit now. Makes me wonder why none bothered to look at this on other devices before…or if they did why haven’t we heard up to this point? Maybe Windows Phone was just the kind of popluar target that folks were trying to find something wrong with?

    Well, like you said, let the debate rage….

  4. johnwbaxter says:

    The IMAP spec is highly complex (with lots of optional abilities). It’s likely that if Rafael were to look at other server implementations, he would find errors. But the Yahoo server’s implementation has certainly called attention to itself.

  5. rodsimmons says:

    You always uncover the best information. It is nice to know this is not an isolated WP7 issue. I am just happy I don’t use Yahoo Mail

  6. Pingback: Tweets that mention WP data leak saga, part 27: Yahoo’s ‘buggy’ IMAP implementation impacts other phones too | Windows Phone Secrets -- Topsy.com

  7. Mike Cerm says:

    While I do think that Yahoo is to blame, it does seem suspicious that Microsoft might have known that something suspicious was afoot, and wasn’t MORE proactive about it (beyond just having different defaults for Yahoo accounts).

    However, the REAL problem here isn’t data usage, it’s that carriers charge so much money and have such ridiculously low caps, while users have basically no way of monitoring or effectively managing how much data they use. The 150-200MB plans that Verizon and AT&T sell are laughable; just by simply allowing the phone to sync contacts, calendar, and email, many people can run through 100MB/month without even actually doing anything. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for error.

    It’s disingenuous for the carriers to even offer such plans, because data usage is largely out of the users’ hands, and the carriers know full-well that even light usage, or a bug like this one, could cause overages. If AT&T sells 2GB for $25/month, then $15/month should buy you 1GB (and not a paltry 200MB). Then, bugs like this wouldn’t effect customers wallets, only the wallets of the carriers and the handset makers who released the buggy phones in the first place.

    • mcakins says:

      Yes indeed, I find that the Carriers should be investigated becuase they are kinda Cartel now. There is no true competition between them and we consumers are the milk cows! 200Mb is just too darn limiting.

      • Mike Cerm says:

        Yeah, I find it very “interesting” that we basically have 2 major carriers in America, each with nearly 35% of the overall market, and each charge almost exactly the same price for almost exactly the same service. How come all this “competition” isn’t driving prices down?

    • luxsphinx says:

      I agree. The 200MB is joke when the pricing is considered. If it was $5, then fine, but $15 should be closer to the 1GB range. Supposedly, AT&T found that 200MB could cover the vast majority of customers and that 2GB would take care of all but a handful of the remaining users. How that worked out, I’m not sure, but I would love to know if they plan on reworking the numbers at some point because A) more and more people are buying smartphones and B) making data plans required gives many people a taste of something that they wouldn’t have used normally but do now because its there. Usage stats are likely to change, and overages are the most likely direction in my mind.

      Personally, I never had a data plan until I got my Focus, but since its there I use it – thankfully not too much. It’s a similar case with my brother and his iPhone 4. He never used data before, but uses it a lot now that he has it.

  8. lowreview says:

    YHOO failed when it rejected the MSFT offer to buy.

    Another solution – Unlimited Data Plans!

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